The Language of Hoofbeats
Author: Catherine Ryan Hyde
Published: December 2014
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Edition: Trade paperback
Source: A complimentary copy was provided by the publisher and TLC book tours in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
From the bestselling author of Pay It Forward comes a story of the heartbreak and healing power of family. New to a small town, Jackie and Paula envision a quiet life for their kids: a young adopted son and two teenage foster children, including the troubled Star. However, they quickly butt heads with their neighbor, Clementine, who disapproves of their lifestyle and is incensed when Star befriends her spirited horse, Comet. Haunted by past tragedy and unable to properly care for Comet, Clem nevertheless resents the bond Star soon shares with the horse. When Star disappears with Comet, the neighbors are thrown together—far too close together. But as the search for the pair wears on, both families must learn to put aside their animosity and confront the choices they’ve made and the scars they carry. Plumbing the depths of regret and forgiveness, The Language of Hoofbeats explores the strange alchemy that transforms a group of people into a family.
The Language of Hoofbeats is a tender slower read that explores family and relationships in a story where a lesbian married couple with an adopted son and two foster children move to a small town where Paula practices large animal veterinary care and Jackie is an artist who works out of their home. One of their foster children, Star, hasn't been with them long enough for either Paula nor Jackie to really get to know but she comes from a home of neglect with a mother who was institutionalized with mental illness which brought Star into the foster care system.
Moving can be difficult and each member of this family has their struggles with the adjustments to rural life. Star especially has a hard time of it until she meets Comet, the horse who lives in a small corral across the road from their new house. Star and Comet take to each other instantly but Clementine, the horse's owner objects strongly to having "that girl" interfering with her horse. There's a long history behind Clementine's bitterness and it evolves through the book in chapters told in her voice alternating with chapters told in the others' voices.
When Clementine refuses to sell Comet to the family, Star takes action and during the night sneaks out to set Comet and herself free. Their disappearance is the point from which the novel evolves.
The Language of Hoofbeats explores the love of a girl for a horse and just how far one is willing to go to find that which they seek. It's a story of love, acceptance, understanding and sorrow and is sure to touch your heart and draw a tear. Catherine Ryan Hyde, as in Pay it Forward, reaches into the very soul of the characters whom she writes about and for whom she writes in this new novel, The Language of Hoofbeats.
Catherine Ryan Hyde is the bestselling author of twenty-four novels, including the 1999 smash hit Pay It Forward,which has been translated into more than two dozen languages, and was made into a major motion picture starring Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, and Haley Joel Osment. In addition to her novels, Hyde is the author of more than fifty short stories and is founder and former president (2000–2009) of the Pay It Forward Foundation. During her years as a professional public speaker, she addressed the National Conference on Education, met with AmeriCorps members at the White House, and shared a dais with President Bill Clinton.
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